Wednesday, 19 May 2010

White duck...

David had been caught by cerebral palsy since birth, and we always saw him being wheeled around our village by his mum, and very often his grandfather - occasionally accompanied by his grandmother as well. The poor lad was a sorry sight; he couldn't speak, had beautiful brown eyes which maybe shone with comprehension, but who knows; and he was totally dependent on his doting family.

Years went on, and as David grew older, the local children all knew him, and talked to him, never expecting a response, but that's the way they were asked to be - and they did it...

Grandma died, then so did grandfather Bill, who was one of the gentlest men I've ever met. We'd usually see him sitting on the bench by the church, holding David close to his body on his lap, and he was a charming man, full of praise for life, and an expert gardener as well. He had a huge heart.

David died a couple of years ago, and we all felt some sort of loss. His dad had also gone several years before, and it had been left to his mum to do all the work to keep him going, and he was nearing forty!

During David's earlier years, someone had given him a duck as a pet. You'd have thought this was a stupid thing to do, but somehow, David showed some eveidence of feeling for this bird, and it was his own friend. It is a local legend how he doted on this duck, and many people believe that it was the one chance he ever had to communicate with the outer world.

The poor bird died tragically, and David was heartbroken. He was about twenty something then, and still in the old wheelchair, and the sadness was obvious for all to see. But he kept on going bless him!

When he died, we'd heard that he was going to be cremated and buried in the churchyard behind us. In fact there's only an ancient brick wall to separate the Turrets from about 60 cremated remains, but they're residents, and never complain... And neither do we of course!

But an extraordinary thing happened when he died.

The local pond is close by, and is usually inhabited by four ducks. We'd noticed, while walking JRT, that the white duck had taken to wandering off, sitting in the road, or around the church and one morning, we found it sitting on our wall, overlooking the spot where David was going to be buried. It stayed there for several days, and many local people noticed this and we commented to everyone that it was the first time it had come anywhere near the wall.

After the funeral, the duck stayed for just a few hours, and then got up and returned to the pond just a few yards awyay, and is still there (well it was this morning anyway...)!

This is absolutely true, and we can still see David's mum walking around with a whippet on a lead, very lost, and needing company. We can always say a big hello, but how can you beat a yarn like that!


lilith said...

A poignant tale, Scrobbers. Poor David's Mum.

rvi said...

Spooky, but it has hitherto been my experience that folks who were cremated were subsequently "scattered" rather than "buried". It is said that birds and animals have senses which we humans have either lost or never had in the first place and there may well be something in that. See how all the local animals headed for high ground a few days before the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami in 2004 as an example.

Tales of the Unexpected: Pt II
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Several years ago I lived in a house that had nowhere suitable to hide the valuables (passports, currency etc) from any potential intruder. So one day while having some renovation work done in the master bedroom, the contractor agreed to construct in the floor in one corner a 12 inch deep hole which could be used to hide the goodies in. It was covered by an undetectable, fitting and matching wooden floor tile, with a small carpet laid over for completeness. That served very well for quite a while.

However, the original floor was parquet, so when the inevitable woodworm appeared we had it all dug up and replaced with a proper damp course, six inches of concrete, which of course filled in the hole, and ceramic tiles.

The small bedside cupboard unit, beautifully made in high quality mahogany, on my side of the bed sat over where the hole had been and a little while after the work had been completed, every night without fail shortly after midnight it made a loud double clicking sound which, in the silence of the night, usually made me jump, and occasionally woke me if I was not fully asleep. I carefully checked the piece to see if there were loose joints or similar, but no, everything was fitted perfectly. None of the other bits of furniture in the room ever made a sound. I started saying "Hallo Mr Ghost and how are you this evening?" before drifting off to sleep.

To this day, I still wonder whether we "disturbed" something or other with that hole.

Scrobs... said...

It is Lils.

She's a poor old soul these days.

The duck however, is always buggering about on the pond, and we may have some sort of jinx on the four of them, because they'd been there for years, minding their own business, occasionally making plans for the night, and we started to call them by their new names - very original these - Whitey, Blackie, Beigie and Brownie.

That week, Blackie vanished - never to be heard of again!

Scrobs... said...

They're actually allocated a couple of square feet each Reevers. The urn is usually about sixinches down in a liner, covered by an 18" x 18" paving slab.

That's an interesting tale about your floor though. Lils and I had a discussion once about a Welsh pub wall which spoke some old dialect, so I'll believe anything like that until I'm proved wrong...

It makes for a more interesting life!

And I often talk to myself/a.n.Other like that as well...

Philipa said...

What a touching story, Scrobs.

Scrobs... said...

Indeed it is Pips.

It was prompted by something you said recently - can't recall where, but Mrs S reminded me of the occasion of the duck on the wall, so it was ever thus!

merry weather said...

To all readers of Mutleythe dogsdayout

I am so terribly sorry to break this news:

Rob, the author here on blogger of mutley the dog, and my beloved partner in life died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours last Friday, the 21st of May.

I would have preferred to email readers privately. That would have been best, I know. So sorry. Simply it is this - I am heart-broken.

At some near time I will post properly, as Rob would wish - a celebration!



Scrobs... said...

Dear Kate,

This is indeed such sad news.

Mutley was probably the first ever blog I started to follow, because he was funny, articulate, and above all, always wrote back.

I'm going to miss him. I'll send this to his blog as well, but I'm thinking of you also.


Philipa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Lakelander said...

Scrobs: your contact details on your profile page leads to a dead link.

I'd like to send you an e-mail. Can you drop me a line with your e-mail address at when you have minute, please?